Happy Halloween! I don’t know about you, but my Halloween has started splendidly. We took a trip to the farmer’s market, dropped in at Half-Price Books, and had lunch at Panera. Then it was back home to play a rousing game of Betrayal at House on the Hill. Now I’m sitting on the couch watching a terrifying documentary about sleep paralysis. Later tonight, we plan on carving pumpkins, coloring some Halloween pictures, and watch something scary. We don’t usually get trick or treaters, but we have candy ready just in case!
Last night we went on a haunted hayride, one we’ve been on before. Things were a bit different this year, however, as the actors are apparently now allowed to touch riders. When we went before, they could get close and jump up on the wagon and get in your face, but they never touched us. It was a bit startling at first, when we realized that the touch boundary was broken, but we quickly adapted and ended up having a lot of fun!
Anyway, with all the excitement, I wanted to make time to get in one last R.I.P. X post. I’ve been reading a ton of Halloween-type stuff, I just haven’t been diligent about posting lately. So here is one last roundup, specifically dealing with the short story collections I’ve read and the films I’ve seen this Halloween season.
Short Story Collections:
Tales by H.P. Lovecraft. Katie and I attempted this one for a reading challenge. I maybe got 25% of the way through it. I think the problem was not that the stories weren’t good, I just couldn’t read straight through them. So for now, this is on my DNF shelf, but I want to eventually come back and read more.
Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre by Paula Guran is a collection of original stories specifically solicited for this volume. I liked this collection because it really evoked a feeling of Halloween, of the time when the veil between worlds is just so thin and the air feels spooky and mysterious!
Ghostly by Audrey Niffenegger was one of my most anticipated reads pretty much from when I learned of its existence. It was just released recently and is a pretty fantastic collection. There’s an original story by Niffenegger, but most of the stories in this collection have previously been published. There are some fantastic stories by classic authors as well.
Slasher Girls and Monster Boys by April Genevieve Tucholke is the only YA collection on this list. This was a really unique collection because all of the stories are original and each story is built upon something else – a song, pop culture, folklore, etc. At the end of each story, the authors explain the references hidden within their stories. My favorite story in this was a very creepy modern day take on Alice in Wonderland.
Day of the Dead – Part of George Romero’s famous zombie trilogy. My favorite part was Zombie Bub. Not my favorite movie ever, but according to everything I’ve read, this is the worst of the three. I would try the other two.
Rebecca – More unsettling and creepy than actually scary. I haven’t read the book, but now I really want to. Older movies are great, because they don’t do continual, on-screen scares. Instead, they try to get to you psychologically.
Hocus Pocus – A Halloween classic, one that we watch every year. Each year I see things I haven’t seen before.
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre – We watched the original film from 1974. Chainsaw guys from haunted houses haven’t really scared me before, but now that I’ve seen the movie, these not-so-innocent tools hold a much heavier weight and scare factor. I watched most of this movie from underneath a blanket, sandwiched between my two roommates.
The Nightmare Before Christmas – Another movie we watch every year. Great music, a fun story, and just super compelling. It’s a Halloween movie, it’s a Christmas movie. You just can’t beat it.
Sleepy Hollow – The 1999 Johnny Depp version. Not too bad on the scare factor. I don’t think I’ve read the book, but isn’t Ichabod Crane supposed to be a schoolteacher? Why is he a lawyer/doctor type person?
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night – An independent film from an Iranian filmmaker. A super feminist film, for those of you who care about such things. Want to watch a hip female vampire have dance parties in her bedroom? This one is for you! Not super scary, but definitely a great film! I found it on a ton of “Horror Movies on Netflix 2015” lists, which is why we watched it.
The Nightmare – This one is a documentary about sleep paralysis. It’s a series of interviews with sufferers to record what exactly they experience. That would be scary enough, except the documentary also shows really creepy reenactments of those things. I’m glad I don’t suffer from this!